NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Left Coast vows to continue fight for climate justice as Trump abandons Paris accords

The Unit­ed States is with­draw­ing from the land­mark Paris cli­mate accords, pol­lu­tion lover Don­ald Trump con­firmed today at a shame­ful event iron­i­cal­ly held in the White House­’s Rose Gar­den — com­plete with a jazz band.

The accords, which most of the world’s nations have agreed to, will remain in place, but the U.S. is aban­don­ing the com­mit­ments it made under Pres­i­dent Oba­ma to reduce cli­mate dam­age. Not to men­tion abdi­cat­ing its moral leadership.

In advance of the announce­ment, elect­ed lead­ers from Wash­ing­ton, Ore­gon, Cal­i­for­nia, and oth­er states vowed to con­tin­ue state and region­al efforts to tack­le cli­mate dam­age, say­ing that future gen­er­a­tions are count­ing on us.

Pres­i­dent Oba­ma, clear­ly angered by Trump’s deci­sion, released a state­ment ask­ing for­ward-think­ing states and cities to unite in defense of Amer­i­ca’s values.

“The nations that remain in the Paris Agree­ment will be the nations that reap the ben­e­fits in jobs and indus­tries cre­at­ed,” Oba­ma said.

“I believe the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of Amer­i­can lead­er­ship; even as this admin­is­tra­tion joins a small hand­ful of nations that reject the future; I’m con­fi­dent that our states, cities, and busi­ness­es will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help pro­tect for future gen­er­a­tions the one plan­et we’ve got.”

Eigh­teen mem­bers of the Unit­ed States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives this week sent a let­ter to Gov­er­nors Jer­ry Brown, Jay Inslee, and Kate Brown, request­ing that that Wash­ing­ton, Ore­gon, and Cal­i­for­nia form a “green wall” to stave off disaster.

“Giv­en the vac­u­um in cli­mate lead­er­ship that has result­ed from the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump, our states must con­tin­ue to form a ‘green wall’ in the West that will main­tain cli­mate lead­er­ship in the Unit­ed States. The Paris Agree­ment calls for sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tions in green­house gas emis­sions, and if Don­ald Trump’s admin­is­tra­tion won’t lead, our states must,” the law­mak­ers wrote. “We call on you to con­tin­ue to uphold our com­mit­ments made under the Paris Agree­ment, and to show inter­na­tion­al lead­er­ship where the cur­rent Admin­is­tra­tion has failed.”

The let­ter was signed by Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Earl Blu­me­nauer (OR-03), Jared Huff­man (CA-02), Suzan Del­Bene (WA-01), Alan Lowen­thal (CA-47), Adam Smith (WA-09), Doris Mat­sui (CA-06), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Mike Thomp­son (CA-05), Bar­bara Lee (CA-13), Prami­la Jaya­pal (WA-07), John Gara­men­di (CA-03), Nanette Diaz Bar­ragán (CA-44), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Jack­ie Speier (CA-14), Zoe Lof­gren (CA-19), Salud O. Car­ba­jal (CA-24), Susan A. Davis (CA-53), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Suzanne Bonam­i­ci (OR-01), Adam B. Schiff (CA-28), and Den­ny Heck (WA-10).

The gov­er­nors, for their part, made clear they intend to do just that.

“Wash­ing­ton State is lead­ing the way on cli­mate issues where Wash­ing­ton, D.C., is fail­ing,” not­ed Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee in a state­ment pre­ced­ing Trump’s dicta.

“The Paris Cli­mate Agree­ment is a land­mark inter­na­tion­al pact that rep­re­sents our great­est oppor­tu­ni­ty to secure long-term U.S. and glob­al eco­nom­ic secu­ri­ty in the face of grow­ing threats from cli­mate change. One hun­dred and nine­ty-four nations have signed the agree­ment, one hun­dred and forty-sev­en have rat­i­fied it, and more than eighty per­cent of the world’s car­bon pol­lu­tion are now cov­ered by its terms. Count­ed among the sig­na­to­ries are Chi­na and India, two of the world’s largest con­trib­u­tors of green­house gas emis­sions, whose sup­port for the agree­ment emerged through dili­gent U.S. leadership.”

“In Wash­ing­ton State we are tak­ing action to reduce car­bon pol­lu­tion. We have imple­ment­ed a cap on car­bon pol­lu­tion, and we will con­tin­ue work­ing with busi­ness­es and research insti­tu­tions to devel­op and deploy twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry clean ener­gy solu­tions. We are also part­ner­ing with oth­er states who are doing the same, and our states will not stop fight­ing for a clean ener­gy future, regard­less of who is in the White House.”

“Trump is going against sci­ence. He’s going against real­i­ty,” Cal­i­for­nia Gov­er­nor Jer­ry Brown told the Los Ange­les Times.

“We can’t stand by and give aid and com­fort to that.”

“If we want to retain and enhance man­u­fac­tur­ing, we have to do what Cal­i­for­nia is doing, in clean ener­gy and clean tech­nol­o­gy,” the gov­er­nor added. “That’s the future of jobs, the future of sus­tain­abil­i­ty. And we bet­ter get on board. And Cal­i­for­nia will be right there with the best of them.”

“Cli­mate change pos­es the great­est threat to Oregon’s envi­ron­ment, econ­o­my, and way of life,” said Ore­gon Gov­er­nor Kate Brown. “Ore­gon has a strong tra­di­tion of fight­ing cli­mate change, and we will not back down. The con­se­quences of cli­mate change are already impact­ing our com­mu­ni­ties and threat­en the long-term sus­tain­abil­i­ty of our nat­ur­al resource-based economies. Lead­ing U.S. com­pa­nies rec­og­nize the need to address cli­mate change risks and oppor­tu­ni­ties through the Paris Agree­ment, and are wise­ly invest­ing in low-car­bon fuels and clean ener­gy tech­nolo­gies to stay on the cut­ting edge of the glob­al economy.”

“It is irre­spon­si­ble for the pres­i­dent to deny these real-world impli­ca­tions. But I will con­tin­ue to work with lead­ers on the West Coast, across the coun­try, and around the world to address the chal­lenge of cli­mate change.”

“While Ore­gon is a small state, we can play a huge role in find­ing inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to pre­serve our nat­ur­al resources, reduce car­bon, and cre­ate a clean­er, and green­er ener­gy mix of the future.”

In a series of tweets, Hawai‘i Sen­a­tor Bri­an Schatz called for action.

“Make no mis­take, cli­mate change is on the bal­lot for every elec­tion until we reverse this immoral action,” he said.

I’m angry, not deterred. We will win this fight, but we must be smarter, tougher, & more relent­less than the pol­luters and their friends.”

“The good news? Clean tech tax breaks still law — pri­vate sec­tor booms. Clean ener­gy won’t stop. Lead­er­ship from every­where except POTUS.”

“Because the Agree­ment entered into force on Novem­ber 4th, 2016, with­draw­al could­n’t be com­plet­ed until Novem­ber 4th, 2020. So we got­ta win.”

Elec­tions have con­se­quences. The most impor­tant thing that any­one can do for the plan­et is to vote for and sup­port Democ­rats in 2018 and 2020.”

Remem­ber this gut punch. Then run for office. Donate. Orga­nize. Just do some­thing. What hap­pens next is entire­ly up to us.”

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One Comment

  1. He says he rep­re­sents the peo­ple of Pitts­burgh, so I guess Trump is pres­i­dent of Pittsburgh.

    # by Mike Barer :: June 2nd, 2017 at 7:04 AM
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